Companies are being urged not to lose out on the opportunity to make significant savings on business rates bills as an appeals deadline looms.
Property firm JLL has warned firms they could be locked into paying unnecessarily high rates for the next five years if they don’t lodge appeals by 30 September.
The advisers said that with many new reliefs available following the Scottish Government’s acceptance of a raft of proposals made by the Barclay review of non-domestic rates, businesses should make sure they are taking full advantage.
Niall Rankin, JLL’s lead director for rating in Scotland, said: “The latest revaluation will lock businesses into a rating assessment which, without an appeal, will be difficult to challenge for five years.”
The Scottish Assessors last reviewed the rateable values in April 2010 based on market values just before the recession in 2008.
This led to many businesses paying rates based on peak value levels for the past seven years.
The latest revaluation, the first for seven years, came into force on 1 April this year and was calculated using market levels from April 2015. Unless rateable values are challenged by 30 September they will be fixed until 2022.
Rankin cited the introduction of the Business Growth Accelerator, which gives 12 months’ rates relief for new-builds and improvements to properties as among the positive changes being introduced following the Barclay review.
New occupiers of lower value properties which have lain vacant for at least six months are also entitled to a year’s relief.